Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Imagine this. Every word you say tattoos itself onto your skin. No amount of scrubbing can take it off. You can keep your tattoos hidden under big jumpers and gloves, but your words will be screaming back at you every shower you take, and when you tuck yourself in bed, you'll read your body like a bed-time story. You'll stare at all the conversations you've ever had and wonder when and how did all the years amount to such junk.

Remember computer-science classes at school? Back in the days before the internet stopped being a phenomena and before two-year-olds and eighty-year-olds had discovered it. Define data, the exams went, and define information. "Information is data with meaning," we were told to write. How much of all the words, accumulated throughout your life and now decorating your body, is meaningless data?

I thought about this and did a tiny experiment. Collected all that I said over the month of May through facebook and whatsapp messages. Let's assume the two mediums I chose are a representative sample of all I have said over the month. (Any minion out there willing to take down every actual word I speak to solidify this experiment?) I tried to sift through the mount of words and filter out the noise (with the help of Tagul's word cloud generator).

The result?

Which is why, my dear readers, we are lucky not to live in a world where words tattoo themselves on our body.


  1. You're amazing. Loved this post. :)

  2. That is awesome.
    In a different direction, how'd it be like to have all these words in your mind, shouting and screaming at you?

  3. Even imagining it for a second gives me goosebumps. We just talk with no sense and don't even realize what we are saying. If this would be the case people will be so conscious of their words. A very beautiful and thought provoking post :) (Y)

  4. And it is times like these we wish to be more eloquent in our speeches. But you know, normal life doesn't allow deep, meaningful, conversation very often. I mean, amongst friends, the latest gossip is far more interesting topic of conversation then say, politics. Now having your 'thoughts' imprinted on your body. That would be...more frightening.
    A thought provoking post.

  5. This was frighteningly insightful. Thank you for the link to Tagul, by the way. I think I'll start my own project :)

  6. I don't think I'd ever shower if this became a reality! But... even if we do engage in somewhat meaningless conversations they still help to build & solidify human connections. So as scary as the thought is, you'll still have to deal with me wittering on... and on ;-)
    More frequent posts please... they are food for the soul :-)

  7. My father's gardener used to say that words that hurt some one's feelings will remain on our minds just like some one has inscribed them. They will erase only if we are forgiven. Your post today has reminded me to be careful of how I talk.

  8. WOW. You are one smart person. Great idea. I think I will do that too. :)

  9. Hi Ghadeer - I have to say I'd not think of doing this .. very interesting. I hate to think what my Tagul cloud would say ..

    But noise - there's so much of it - that internet stuff .. and everything is so short and disturbing .. things I don't need to know - but which get thrust at me ... all which ways ...

    I prefer my own thoughts and read when I feel like it others' ideas .. eg here ..

    Cheers to you .. and Munir makes a good point ... all the best - Hilary

  10. Nice to hear from you.
    Hope that all is well.
    We are getting all sorts of news on the t.v.
    Wish you and your family health, happiness,safety and peace.

  11. Oh god, you took away with my imagination there. This is something never to forget, sure the words don't tattoo themselves, but they leave such a deep impression behind anyway. Such a necessary reminder. Beautiful as always. :)

  12. o_o GENIUS.

    I wanna do this! Heck, I'd be your minion/scribe and jot down all your words too, but I think the process may be complicated by the oceans that separate us :P I wanna do this though. Seriously. Amazing idea *thumbs up and cookies*

  13. Where have you disappeared to? Oh and belated Ramadan Kareem!


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